763. Bofinger and Ries versus Borio and Disyatat: macroeconomics after endogenous money. A brief note

Working paper N. 763 Novembre 2017

Serio Cesaratto

DEPS, USiena


A paper by Peter Bofinger and Mathias Ries (2017a/b) strays from the recent rethinking in monetary analysis to criticise Summers’ “saving glut” explanation of the prevalence of low real interest rates. A similar critical perspective is held by Borio and Disyatat (e.g. 2011a/b, 2015), who are criticised, however, by Bofinger and Reis for their Wicksellian background. In this note, we compare and assess these two different views. Both Bofinger and Reis (B&R) and Borio and Disyatat (B&D) reject traditional “loanable fund theory” in favour of an endogenous money view of credit, but while B&R regard conventional marginalist (real) theory as inconsistent with the endogenous money view, B&D, following Wicksell, regard it as consistent. We sympathize with B&R’s criticism of conventional theory, especially their Keynesian view of the interest rate as a purely monetary phenomenon. Interestingly, B&R refer to the problems of marginalist capital theory as undermining the natural interest rate concept


Bofinger, Borio, Dysiatat, monetary theory, capital theory, Wicksell, natural interest rate

Jel Codes

B12, E11, E13, E4, E5